[Workshop] "Firms in Late and Post-Socialism. State control, Management and the Shop‐floor in Transformation" (Pula, Kroatien)

27.09.2017 - 28.09.2017

On September 27, 2017, the workshop „Firms in Late and Post-Socialism. State control, Management and the Shop‐floor in Transformation“ will take place at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Pula. It is organized by the joint project "Transformation from below", which is carried out by the Institute for East European History at the University of Vienna and the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg. The workshop is hosted in cooperation with the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies and the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula.

This workshop will explore, from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, how managerial cultures and shop floor relations changed from late socialism to post-socialism. Particular attention is devoted to the experiences of big enterprises. The main aim is to observe how the connections between firms and politics have changed during the last decades, and how these changes impacted on power relations within the firm, especially between managers and workers. How did social configurations within the firm transform, and how did the boundaries of the firm change? We also want to elucidate the discourses and representations that accompanied these developments. Thanks to the combination of approaches from labour history and business history, sociology and social anthropology, the workshop will offer a multi-perspective view on one of the most salient aspect of the “big” transformation that eastern European societies have experienced since the decline of communism.

Panel 1, Governing Production, examines the relationships between party apparatus, state institutions, and big businesses, in order to reveal continuities and changes with regard to economic policies and the governance of production.

Panel 2, Shady Boundaries, focuses on firms as a social and political space, looking at their internal social dynamics, as well as their interrelations with external socio-political developments, questioning ideas of clear cut borders between in and out.

Panel 3, Fallen Heroes, aims to reflect about the worldviews both of managers and workers, and which changes they underwent during the transformation from socialism to capitalism, elucidating also social memories.

Panel 4, Moral Economies, will show how self-perceptions of workers are deeply intermingled with ideological and moral values ascribed by society and dominant ideologies to work and workers. What are the workers´ considerations, where the change from a socialist to a neo-liberal work ethic is concerned?

Participants: Ulf Brunnbauer (IOS, Regensburg), Igor Duda (University of Pula), Valentina Fava (TU Berlin), Piotr Filipkowski (University of Vienna), Dimitra Kofti (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale), Hugh Murphy (University of Glasgow), Stefano Petrungaro (University Ca´ Foscari, Venice), Sanja Puljar d'Alessio (University of Rijeka), Ivan Rajković (UCL SSEES, London), Igor Stanić (University of Pula), Philipp Ther (University of Vienna), Jochen Tholen (University of Bremen), Pieter Troch (IOS, Regensburg), Maciej Tymiński (University of Warsaw), Saša Vejzagić (European University Institute, Florence), Peter Wegenschimmel (IOS, Regensburg).

The workshop is organized in the framework of the Collaborative Research Project “Transformations from Below. Shipyards and Labor Relations in the Uljanik (Croatia) and Gdynia (Poland) Shipyards since the 1980s”, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). It takes place in cooperation with the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, Munich-Regensburg and Juraj Dobrila University of Pula.

Full programme